TWS at Idaho State University
Idaho State University prepares candidates who are learner-centered, content-knowledgeable, assessment-informed, and reflective-practitioners. The Teacher Work Sample (TWS) is the central learning tool and assessment utilized by the ISU Teacher Education Program to prepare highly qualified educators.
The Teacher Work Sample (TWS) was institutionalized and became a comprehensive teacher candidate assessment for the College of Education in 1999. Since the implementation of the TWS, it has become a high stakes assessment which requires candidates to demonstrate competency for the related state standards. Idaho State University’s Teacher Work Sample is one measure of teacher performance assessment for program completion. The TWS used at ISU is amodified version of the Renaissance TWS. ISU has implemented eight TWS standards and 43 indicators, which cover six of Idaho’s ten core teaching standards. The successful completion of two TWSs are requirements for graduation and institutional recommendation for certification.
Candidates at Idaho State University write a guided practice TWS in their junior year during a pre-internship that requires a minimum of 150 hours in the public school classroom. The content from the TWS is taught during this practical experience. Candidates write a second TWS during their student teaching internship.
Candidates use pre-post student assessments in both teacher work samples as one indicator of their ability to produce learning with the students they teach. Data indicates, in the Profile and Analysis section of the TWS, teacher candidates can improve student scores in the classroom.
Idaho State University prepares about 150 new teachers a year. TheField Placement Office collaborates with school administrators to find placements where cooperating teachers exhibit best practice. Each teacher candidate receives a 16 week internship experience in a school where they are able to teach in their major area or the grade level they prefer. During this placement the candidates prepare and teach the content within their second TWS. The TWS has provided a valuable learning experience for our candidates and demonstrates their learning, plus the TWS is able to show how candidates impact student learning.
Over the past seven years, ISU has worked to develop a comprehensive data collection and program accountability system. We have data comparing the pre-internship TWS with TWS completed during the internship. The Assistant Dean for Assessment maintains a database and summarizescandidates’ scores for all of the TWS indicators and standards. The database results have assisted in revising the TWS, guidelines and scoring rubric, and planning for curriculum revision.